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For the purposes of the new edition, every poem has been assigned a unique short title. The original short titles, taken eclectically from a number of sources, are retained as alternative short titles.
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For epigraphs and layout information click on the appropriate manuscript location.
For information on Latin and vernacular sources of miracle stories follow the links to Miracles and collections. Follow the links to the appropriate pages of Todd McComb and Pierre Roberge's online discography, to the BITAGAP archive, and to linked entries in the Bibliography.
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CSM Number : 35
Short name: The Clerics Saved from Pirates Alternative: De liberatione clericorum Sanctae Mariae in mari a piratis (Laon)
Incipit: O que a Santa Maria | der algo ou prometer
Refrain: O que a Santa Maria | der algo o prometer/ dereit’ é que s’ en mal ache | se llo pois quiser toller.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: On the way to England Protagonist(s): Priests of Laon and merchants

A fire burned down the church at Lyon du Rhône. Everything was destroyed, except some relics of the Virgin’s milk and hair.

The priests, needing money to rebuild the church, took the relics on tour. Master Bernaldo, the Dean, and other priests, carried the relics all over France and these performed many miracles. To take the relics to England, the priests boarded a ship owned by a man named Colistanus. Many wealthy merchants also boarded the ship and loaded it with goods.

The weather was fine, but pirates pursued the ship. When the captain saw the pirates he ordered the relics to be held aloft. When Master Bernaldo took out the relics, the rich merchants made offerings of cloth, gold, and silver, asking the Virgin to save them.

The six galleys continued to approach and surround the ship, but Master Bernaldo, holding the relics aloft, challenged the admiral stating that they would defend the ship. The admiral scoffed at him and ordered arrows to be fired, but a wind came up and overturned the pirate’s galleys.

The galley of the admiral was split in two. The mast, which hit him, struck him so hard that his eyes popped out and he fell into the sea. The other galleys were blown far away by a southern wind. The people on the ship sighted Dover and knew they were saved. The merchants collected their belongings, including those they had just offered to the relics. They disregarded the miracle that the Virgin had performed for them.

Master Bernardo protested and they agreed to return and give a portion of their profits after they had completed their business. The merchants, from Flanders and Paris, purchased wool and left Dover in a ship before dawn. Christ, wanting to avenge his mother, made a thunderbolt strike their ship and burn up all of the wool, although nothing else was harmed. Seeing this miracle, the merchants returned to the relics and gave donations to Master Bernardo. He chided them, but only accepted a third of what they offered.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15 [7’ 7] 15 [7’ 7] 15 [7’ 7] 15 [7’ 7] Refrain: 15 [7’ 7] 15 [7’ 7]
No. of Stanzas: 26
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
T35, E35, To92
Poncelet reference
None
Keywords
admiral, canons, dean, eye(s), fire, galley, gold, hair (of Virgin Mary), lightning, mast, merchant, milk (of Virgin Mary), pirates, priest , relics, reliquary, Saints (other), silver, storm, thunder, wool
Discography
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
BITAGAP ID
3752
Bibliography
La miniatura gótica española
Camón Aznar, José
Los clérigos, las ’cantigas’ y las ’Siete Partidas’
Cash, Annette Grant
’La Arquitectura desde la Miniatura’, una aproximación desde la Baja Edad Media castellana
Chico Picaza, María Victoria
Another Aspect of the Virgin Mary in the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Davis, Jr, William Richard
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Alfonso X, compositor
Ferreira, Manuel pedro
A corte poética de Afonso III o Bolonhês e a materia de Bretaña
Gutiérrez García, Santiago
A Literatura Artúrica en Galicia e Portugal na Idade Media
Gutiérrez García, Santiago and Pilar Lorenzo Gradín
Seeing is Believing: The Miniatures in the Cantigas de Santa Maria and Medieval Devotional Practices
Kennedy, Kirstin
El culto de las reliquias en las Cantigas de Santa María de Alfonso X el Sabio
Martín Ansón, Maria Luisa
Osservazioni sulle Cantigas di Alfonso X e sui Miracles di Gautier de Coincy
Marullo, Teresa
Cantigas de Alfonso X, el Sabio
Moreno Galván, José M.
Alfonso X, miracle collector
Parkinson, Stephen
Collection, Composition, and Compilation in the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Parkinson, Stephen, & Deirdre Jackson
La materia de Bretaña en la poesía gallego-portuguesa
Sharrer, Harvey L.
A Selected and Annotated Discography of Recordings of Music from the Middle Ages in Spain
Tinnell, Roger D.
Canticles 35 and 362: Keys to the Poetic Style of the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Vandrey, Philip Lee